The Missouri Broadcasters Association has written state attorney general Chris Koster asking him to determine if white supremacist Glenn Miller is a “legally qualified” Senate candidate.
Miller, of Springfield, has filed as a write-in candidate for the office. He’s bought time on several stations to air ads that demean Jews and non-whites, sometimes using racist language.
Some broadcasters have said they’re airing the commercials only because they’re required to under federal law. A station must allow federal candidates “reasonable access” to their facilities, and it must air the messages of all legal candidates without changes.
Other stations, however, want Koster to determine if Miller really is legally qualified before they run the commercials.
A Koster spokesman said Wednesday that the attorney general had received the letter but had not reached a decision.
In its letter, the MBA — which represents 340 radio and TV stations in the state — asks Koster to determine if Miller meets residency and other requirements of the law, and if he’s properly using his name, Frazier Glenn Miller.
The stations also want to know when the general election campaign officially begins. Under federal law, candidates may not have full access to commercial time until the election is deemed to have started.
“There’s some uncertainty at this point as to whether Mr. Miller is qualified and whether he has a right to be on (the air) at this stage,” said Mark Sableman, a St. Louis lawyer who wrote the letter on behalf of broadcasters.
Some stations, Sableman said, have declined to air the commercials until Koster issues an opinion.
Some stations also argue that Miller isn’t a “bona fide” write-in candidate, Sableman said, because he hasn’t demonstrated substantial campaign activities such as opening an office, giving speeches, and passing out campaign literature.
Write-in candidates must be “bona fide” under federal law to be considered legally qualified.
Meanwhile, two local stations that are airing the commercials — KMBZ and WDAF-FM, both owned by Entercom Kansas City — said Wednesday they’ll give away all of the revenue they have or will receive from Miller.
Half of the money, the stations said, will go to the Olathe chapter of the NAACP, and the other half will go to a local Jewish charity.